LUCKY IN LOVE: Ernie, 94 and Meg, 91, Piccoli celebrate their 70th anniversary at the house they have lived in for more than 40 years in Casino.
LUCKY IN LOVE: Ernie, 94 and Meg, 91, Piccoli celebrate their 70th anniversary at the house they have lived in for more than 40 years in Casino. Marc Stapelberg

Happiness rains on couple

THERE are not many people who can truthfully credit 70 years of marriage to the weather.

But Ernie and Meg Piccoli, of Casino, who celebrated their platinum anniversary on Sunday, said they married as a direct result of an unusually wet October.

It was mid-1942 when Mr Piccoli told Meg, whom he had been courting only a couple of months, he would marry her if they got six inches of rain in the coming October.

A farmer all his life, Mr Piccoli was well aware October is usually very dry on the Northern Rivers.

But as fate would have it, October 1942 was one of the wettest ever recorded in Casino.

More than 200mm of rain, or eight inches in the old scale, fell that year - the fourth-highest October rainfall ever recorded in Casino - and a clearly smitten Mr Piccoli was true to his word.

"I never expected we'd get six inches of rain - not in October," Mr Piccoli said.

"But it rained and rained and rained.

"We got married on the fourth of November."

The young couple was married at St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Casino, with Mr Piccoli's brother, Cecil, and his girlfriend, Beatrice Hyde, as attendants.

Unable to leave the dairy farm for any period, the young couple travelled to Tenterfield for two days in lieu of a honeymoon.

It was after they came back that an incident occurred that they both agree became the foundation for their long, very happy life together.

They made a joint decision never to argue.

"I can remember I started to say something to Ernie about something I was upset about," Mrs Piccoli recalled.

"He said to me - I married you because I love you, I'm not arguing with you, you can argue with the bloody wall, but I'm not arguing with you."



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